Mechanisms Regulating the Association of Protein Phosphatase 1 with Spinophilin and Neurabin

Michael C. Edler, Asma B. Salek, Darryl S. Watkins, Harjot Kaur, Cameron W. Morris, Bryan K. Yamamoto, Anthony J. Baucum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Protein phosphorylation is a key mediator of signal transduction, allowing for dynamic regulation of substrate activity. Whereas protein kinases obtain substrate specificity by targeting specific amino acid sequences, serine/threonine phosphatase catalytic subunits are much more promiscuous in their ability to dephosphorylate substrates. To obtain substrate specificity, serine/threonine phosphatases utilize targeting proteins to regulate phosphatase subcellular localization and catalytic activity. Spinophilin and its homologue neurabin are two of the most abundant dendritic spine-localized protein phosphatase 1 (PP1) targeting proteins. The association between spinophilin and PP1 is increased in the striatum of animal models of Parkinson's disease (PD). However, mechanisms that regulate the association of spinophilin and neurabin with PP1 are unclear. Here, we report that the association between spinophilin and PP1α or PP1γ1 was increased by CDK5 expression and activation in a heterologous cell system. This increased association is at least partially due to phosphorylation of PP1. Conversely, CDK5 expression and activation decreased the association of PP1 with neurabin. As with dopamine depletion, methamphetamine (METH) abuse causes persistent alterations in dopamine signaling which influence striatal medium spiny neuron function and biochemistry. Moreover, both METH toxicity and dopamine depletion are associated with deficits in motor control and motor learning. Pathologically, we observed a decreased association of spinophilin with PP1 in rat striatum evaluated one month following a binge METH paradigm. Behaviorally, we found that loss of spinophilin recapitulates rotarod pathology previously observed in dopamine-depleted and METH-treated animals. Together, these data have implications in multiple disease states associated with altered dopamine signaling such as PD and psychostimulant drug abuse and delineate a novel mechanism by which PP1 interactions with spinophilin and neurabin may be differentially regulated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2701-2712
Number of pages12
JournalACS Chemical Neuroscience
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 21 2018


  • Phosphatase
  • methamphetamine
  • scaffolding proteins
  • signaling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Cell Biology

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